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Dr. Mark D. Gaus Named Opal Goolsby Outstanding Professor

Ƶ (HCU) has named Dr. Mark D. Gaus as the 2023-2024 Opal Goolsby Outstanding Professor of the Year. Dr. Gaus is a Professor of Kinesiology in the Linda Dunham School of Nursing and Chair for the Department of Kinesiology at HCU.

Named in honor of Opal Goolsby, a legendary faculty member who taught English and French at Houston Baptist College, the prestigious award recognizes the very best teaching on the HCU campus. Goolsby was a member of the College’s original faculty in 1963.

“[Opal Goolsby] was a generous, selfless teacher who loved life and demanded the best of her students while endlessly offering them her encouragement and assistance,” said Dr. Stanley Napper, HCU Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs.

 A selection committee with representatives from the Student Government Association, the faculty Professional Development Committee and the Provost’s Office examined the record of accomplishment for each nominee and carefully selected the faculty member who best represented the ideals of outstanding teaching.

“It is an honor and privilege to recommend Dr. Mark Gaus for the Opal Goolsby Professor of the Year Award.  He is a true educator who proves an amazing ability to connect with and instruct students along the continuum. [He] is energetic, positive and has an engaging teaching style,” said Dr. Carol Lavender, Dean of the Linda Dunham School of Nursing.

Dr. Gaus earned a Doctorate in Physical Education from the University of Houston and a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Kinesiology from Lamar University. He has taught numerous courses including “Creating a Wellness Lifestyle,” “Sport Sociology,” “Movement, Behavior and Motor Learning” and Tests and Measurements of Kinesiology.

Other finalists for the award included Dr. James Meersman, Archie W. Dunham College of Business, Dr. Paul T. Sloan, School of Christian Thought, Dr. Russ Hemati, College of Arts and Humanities and Dr. Joseph Pelletier, College of Education and Behavioral Sciences and Dr. Curtis Henderson, College of Science and Engineering.